Saturday, June 28, 2008

softy or stupid?



I got a new water bottle last weekend that has a hand strap with a little pouch for keys or snacks. I tried it on a long run last weekend and again today and have come to the conclusion that while I like having water with me, it puts too much stress on my shoulders and back to have something in my hand. But that's not the only reason I think I'm going to abandon my $17 folly. Today I took a short break to adjust my shoe on Peachtree Street. As I lift my head and start to get up, there is a homeless guy in a wheelchair right in front of me and he looks like he's in real rough shape. As best he can without teeth, he tells me he is really thirsty and needs water. I'm hesitant at first, but I felt really sorry for him and I was glad he wasn't asking for money. So I said, can you drink out of my bottle with out putting your mouth on it and he says yes, so I HAND IT OVER TO HIM! He squirts some in his mouth. Then I tell him he can have more (what the hell, right? What's a few more germs on the bottle I am planning on putting in my mouth in a minute.) and he starts showing me these awful bloody sores and scabs all over his arms that I guess I hadn't noticed at first. He is actually poking at blood, smearing it on his skin. I'm like, um sir please don't get any blood on my bottle. So he takes another swig and I take it back and move on. I am so conflicted. What is the right thing to do? People make me so sad and if I can do something small to help... But on the other hand, sharing fluids with a sickly stranger is just dumb. Ah, the joys of city life. Thoughts?

5 comments:

Courtney said...

I think I would have donated the bottle, since you didn't really like it anyhow, at that point.

You are FAR too nice!


I've had one of those for a few years. I can't run more than 2-3 miles without water. And suburban life doesn't really lead itself to an overabundance of water fountains.

JuneBug said...

Yeah, totally would have handed the bottle over. Or, just given him a dollar. So sorry that humanity had to dissappoint you like that...

Ever thought about one of those waist belt bottle holster things?

David said...

Tough call, for sure, but no matter; you produced some very good karma.

L said...

Oh, my. This reminds me of the time when P was solicited by a one-armed prostitute in a wheelchair in Shreveport, LA. He didn't give her is water bottle though.

You are a good person.

Katie & Kyle said...

If you keep doing foolish (albeit nice)things like this, I will not have a sister with whom to run the marathon by the time it rolls around. Please stop putting other people's health above your own and just say no! Give to or volunteer at a shelter instead.